||Changes in joint range of motion and muscle–tendon unit stiffness after varying amounts of dynamic stretching
Journal of Sports Sciences
2163 , 2016-11-28 , Taylor & Francis
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of varying amounts of dynamic stretching (DS) on joint range of motion (ROM) and stiffness of the muscle–tendon unit (MTU). Fifteen healthy participants participated in four randomly ordered experimental trials, which involved one (DS1), four (DS4) and seven (DS7) sets of DS, or control conditions/seated at rest (CON). Each DS set consisted of 15 repetitions of an ankle dorsiflexion–plantarflexion movement. The displacement of the muscle–tendon junction (MTJ) was measured using ultrasonography while the ankle was passively dorsiflexed at 0.0174 rad · s‒1 to its maximal dorsiflexion angle. Passive torque was also measured using an isokinetic dynamometer. Ankle ROM was significantly increased after DS4 and DS7 compared with the pre-intervention values (P < 0.05), but there were no significant differences in ankle ROM between DS4 and DS7. No differences were observed in ankle ROM after DS1 and CON. In addition, the stiffness of the MTU, passive torque and displacement of the MTJ at submaximal dorsiflexion angles did not change in any of the experimental conditions. These results indicate that DS4 increased ankle ROM without changing the mechanical properties of the MTU, and that this increase in ankle ROM plateaued after DS4.